Trauma centres to be opened along highways

New Delhi: Over 160 new trauma centres will be opened along the major national highways across the country in the 12th plan to address the high death rates caused by road accidents, a senior official said Tuesday.

According to Director General of Health Services R.K. Srivastava, the health ministry is implementing a project for the upgradation and strengthening of emergency trauma care facility in state government hospitals located on national highways.

The project is under the scheme "Assistance for Capacity Building" to provide immediate treatment to the victims of road traffic injury, he said at an inter-ministerial meeting on road safety.

The scheme was started in the 11th plan with a total outlay of Rs.732.75 crore for establishing 140 trauma care centres along the Golden Quadrilateral highways.

The Golden Quadrilateral includes 5,846 km of highways connecting Delhi-Kolkata-Chennai-Mumbai-Delhi and North-South and East-West Corridors covering 7,716 km connecting Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Silchar to Porbandhar respectively.

"So far, 113 trauma care centres have been provided with financial assistance in 15 states which are at various stages of progress," Srivastava said.

Health Secretary K. Chandramouli said loss of life caused by road accidents needs to be avoided through a strategic action plan.

According to WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, more than half of the road accidents victims in India are in the age group of 25-65 years, the key wage earning and child raising age group.

A global "Decade of Action Plan for Road Safety" is scheduled to be launched by United Nations in May.